The National Australian Pharmacy Student’s Association has elected Eleanna Ballis, from Charles Sturt University Wagga Wagga, as its new president.
Ballis told the AJP that she’s looking forward to working with a streamlined NAPSA executive and helping give pharmacy students a voice in their industry.
“I’m really excited to continue to be part of NAPSA – I’ve been part of it for a year now, and there’s been a lot of changes happening in the past term,” she says.
“The changes were made to help NAPSA move forward: there was a governance structure change, from 36 people in the National Council to a new structure with a President and seven board members.
“We just need to build on this foundation, and I’m excited to help NAPSA move forward and be more efficient. The whole Committee is made of young people who haven’t been on a Committee before, with fresh faces and new ideas, so it’s very exciting.”
Ballis says she hopes that students and graduates, as the pharmacists of the future who will work in the industry as it changes, will gain more of a voice in industry negotiations and leadership.
“Politicians make the decisions but don’t ask us! We’re the future pharmacists, and everything that happens with the 6CPA is going to affect us; I’d like for us to have more of a say and more of a stakeholder position as students.”
She says initiatives to bring pharmacists out from behind the dispensary and into a counselling role excite her and her fellow students.
“There’s also a stereotype of pharmacists that you just label a box and give it to the patient, but now we’re able to be more forward-facing and have a counselling focus, and that really excites me,” she says.
“That’s what our job is really about, and it’s good to make people aware of that. We’re the first point of contact: before people go to the doctor they tend to go and see their pharmacist.
“With new rules we’re going to be able to vaccinate, and in future hopefully we’ll be able to prescribe things like antibiotics.
“That helps doctors out as well, leaving them with the more complex issues. So it excites me that we’re moving forward as an industry and the profession’s growing.”
Ballis will lead an Executive consisting of Vice President Matthew Scott (La Trobe University), Secretary David Paulmert (Griffith University) and Treasurer Jack Buckley (Charles Sturt University, Orange).
A further four Directors are due to be elected after transfer to incorporation in August and will carry out this term until July next year.
NAPSA maintains the composition of internal committees where the following Committee Chairs were also elected:
- Education: Brittany Santilla (Charles Sturt University, Wagga Wagga).
- Industrial Affairs: Evan Walters (University of New England).
- International Pharmacy Students Federation: Aleksandra Trakilovic (Monash University).
- Pharmacy Awareness: Sandra Minas (La Trobe University).
- Publications: John Quinn (Griffith University).
- Rural and Indigenous Health: Kellie Langham (University of New England).
At NAPSA’s Annual Dinner over the weekend, outgoing president Sam Turner executed his final duties as President to induct three Honorary Life Members to the association:
- Cassandra Lee (Griffith University, Congress Chair 2015, Publications Chair 2012-13 and 2013-14);
- Xavier Agostino (RMIT University, President 2013-14, Industrial Affairs Chair 2012-13); and
- John Traynor (La Trobe University, Treasurer 2014-15, Congress Chair 2014, National Councilor 2012-2015).
Ballis acknowledged the work of her predecessor Sam Turner.
“Over the past year, Sam has built significant foundations within the association and through collaborative relationships with the profession,” she says. “He invested a lot of time in ensuring sustainability and implementing new initiatives and as a result NAPSA has some exciting prospects for members on the horizon.”
“I look forward to working with the board to implement the new and exciting governance changes, as well as introducing the new MyNAPSA platform to our members in the coming months.”